QUAERITUR: Can a bishop forbid Mass in Latin?

From a reader:

You recently had a post about Latin and the Novus Ordo with a
reference to canon 928. You asserted that Mass can always be
celebrated in Latin based on that canon. If one’s bishop makes it a
policy
that priests who want to have a Mass (with a Congregation) in Latin must obtain permission from him, is this a legitimate exercise of his authority?

I took this to a trusted canonist and received back this response which I have edited slightly and to which I have added some emphases and notes of my own:

Before we address the matter, we need to know precisely what the situation is. A bishop has made this “a policy.” How did he do so? Did he simply state to the priests that this is his preference? Did he issue some sort of a decree? How did he make this “policy” known?

I don’t see how a bishop could legitimately could require that priests get his permission to celebrate the liturgy publicly in the normative language of the Rite. [Exactly.] If it were merely stated as a “policy,” any priest should feel completely free to disregard it, as “policies” have no real force in law. If it was issued as a decree, then the priest could – and should [!] – seek administrative recourse, first asking the bishop to reverse the decree, and then pursuing the matter before the Congregation for Divine Worship. I am certain he would obtain a favorable hearing.  [Haudquaquam dubitandum’st!]

We also need to know precisely what the policy states. The bishop is, legitimately, the moderator of the liturgy in his diocese. He has an obligation to see to the legitimate needs of the faithful under his care.

[Let the fun begin!] The allowance of the vernacular in the liturgy has given rise to the legitimate aspirations of the faithful to have the liturgy celebrated – at least in part, and at least some of the time – in the vernacular.

If, say, there is a town with three parishes, and all three parishes offer Holy Mass each weekend only in Latin – two in the Ordinary form and one in the Extraordinary Form – and there is a coetus of people who wish to have Mass celebrated in the vernacular, [LOL!] it would be reasonable for the bishop to step in and require that one of the parishes have one Mass on the weekend in the vernacular. Perhaps at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, in a side chapel, after the heat in the church has been turned off, and while the janitor is cleaning the rest of the church with a loud buffer. (a bit too snarky?)  [Noooooooo…..]

On the whole, however, I wish that bishops spent as much time and energy eliminating real liturgical abuse as they seem to spend on making some legitimate options mandatory and others verboten.

How strenuously does this bishop enforce a “policy” against the abuse of General Absolution, or stoles being worn over chasubles, or the use of extraordinary ministers when none are warranted?

Superb.

What many people don’t realize is that the Second Vatican Council mandate that Latin be retained in the Latin Church’s liturgical worship (SC 36.1).  It said that the vernacular could be used at times for some parts of the Mass (SC 36.2).

In other words, the esteemed canonist, in his Rod Serling-esque response (above) hit the right tone.

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29 Responses to QUAERITUR: Can a bishop forbid Mass in Latin?

  1. Andy Milam says:

    And here is the ultimate problem with the wordings of the Conciliar documents….they are vague and they are contrary to one another and to tradition. What was written above is the logical end for the way that Sacrosanctum Concilium was presented.

    The big fault of Vatican Council II’s documentation isn’t that they are mundane. It isn’t that they are theologically lacking in doctrine and dogma (although that is a biggie). The big fault of Vatican Council II’s documentation is that they espouse an “either/or” and a “both/and” mentality. This discourse is a perfect example…
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/12/quaeritur-can-a-bishop-forbid-mass-in-latin/#respond
    Latin is to be retained (cf SC 36.1), but the vernacular may be permitted (cf. SC 36.2)

    or

    No one may add, remove or change anything of his own accord, even if he be a priest (cf. SC 22.3), but there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing. (cf SC 23)

    The documents are full of such contradictions…and not just liturgical….so, bottom line: there is no way to properly interpret the documents of the Council, because they were written to be intentionally vague. And the best answer one can get is, “The bishop is the supreme legistlator, but he doesn’t have a leg to stand on either way.”

    FWIW, the answer is superb, I agree 100% with Fr. Z….the problem is that it doesn’t solve the problem and there is still room to have the Latin completely removed, based even upon what what written.

  2. Tom Esteban says:

    I almost don’t care any longer. Appealing to any Vii documents does nothing because they were written by the periti purposefully to be vague. Even if it were clear, it wouldn’t do much since the new collegiality means whatever comes from the Pope isn’t to be taken all that seriously. One can’t appeal to anything prior to 1962 because we all know the Church was medieval and backwards then; horror of horrors to even mention the Council of Trent or Quo Primum. So you are stuck at the mercy of the Bishop. Some who will let abuses, sacrilege and blasphemy occur all over their diocese without even a step torwards making it right… but as soon as those pesky traditionalists want their Tridentine Masses quick as lightning they will be forbidden.

  3. jbas says:

    O.K. But practically speaking, if one’s bishop says no: Latin, Roman-style vestments, ad orientem, Roman Canon, etc., even at a single, weekday Mass, and if he tells a priest this directly but orally, then there seems little practical recourse. Bishops have indirect, unofficial ways of punishing priests who disobey even illegitimate orders. Or, if the bishop issues a positive but oral order to a Parochus (can we agree upon a common English translation for this office?) to use EMHC and female altar servers, the priest will have to give in in the end if the bishop is determined to make it happen. I’ve just found that canon law means only what the local bishop says it means. It is only if the bishop puts an order in writing, and if he puts any punishment of a priest in writing, that there is any real chance of appeal to Rome. Right? I hope I’m wrong, but this is my experience.
    The whole problem would largely go away if we went back to “immovable” Parish Priests.

  4. Peco says:

    Unfortunately I believe that jbas has nailed it. “Bishops have indirect, unofficial ways of punishing priests who disobey even illegitimate orders.” At least that has been the case in my diocese for years, and years, and years – decades. Just ask the priest who seems to be the permanent chaplain to the mental institution, or who seems to always land in Podunk, Wherever. I only hope to live to see a EF Mass within 200 miles of where I live. The most reverence I have seen in a long time was the recent funeral of a local lady that belonged to a local renegade sede vacantis church.

  5. Sam Schmitt says:

    @Andy Milam,

    I don’t see any contradiction in the two sections of SC you cite: obviously SC 22.3 means that no one may add or change anything during the celebration of an existing rite; this is a completely different question from the revision of the rites themselves as mandated by the Council in SC 23. It’s apples and oranges. Similarly with the supposed contradiction of “Latin is to be retained (cf SC 36.1), but the vernacular may be permitted (cf. SC 36.2)” – how about the readings / intercessions / some prayers in the vernacular, the rest in Latin?

    It’s only commonsense that a general ecumenical council, with thousands of bishops from around the world from various rites, from missionary territories, religious orders, etc., would decree exactly what is to be done in every and all circumstances. They weren’t going to revise the rites down to the exact wording then and there on the floor of St. Peter’s! I’m afraid I don’t get the argument that since the documents have not been followed, therefore the documents are vague or contradictory.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    The phenomenon since V-II seems to have been so many bishops, priests, and laity rushing headlong into the “new thing” as soon as it is even mentioned as a mere contingent possibility or prudential option… whether the “new thing” be the use of the vernacular, altar girls, Communion in the hand, Communion under both species, the Luminous Mysteries, or whatever. Always with an attitude suggesting we would be missing out on something absolutely essential if we didn’t adopt the “new thing.” And these have included even “loyal papists,” not merely dissenters.

    When did options become imperatives? Where is the healthy Catholic suspicion of novelty that sustained previous generations in the Faith? Why the haste to uproot and replant the vineyard, treating the old plants as weeds?

  7. Phil_NL says:

    I must say I find it remarkabe that the situation in the US seems to be characterised by loads of ultra-liberal bishops, yet with enough vocations to be able to send priests to very undesirable assignments.

    Maybe it’s something in the American water, but in Europe the biological solution is tackling this very nicely: we generally get better and better bishops (granted, sometimes the candidates are still poor, but hardly ever as poor as we had before) and should they want to harass priests, they only real way to do that is by assigning them additional parishes, as the priest shortage is tremendous. Yet the few we have, tend to be pretty decent.

    Now, either it works completely differently on your side of the pond, or some people are just seeing only half-empty glasses everywhere.

  8. Andy Milam says:

    @ Sam Schmitt;

    SC 22 and 23 are clearly speaking about the very same expression the liturgy. I don’t see how you can miss this. They are speaking of General norms. The reference to revision at that point is that it should be careful, not that it should happen. And even if revision were to happen, then whatever innovation made, should be made for the good of the Church, but in the very paragraph before, there is a statement which says that no one has the ability to change the Mass on his own authority.

    So, nobody can be innovative on his own, but several can. Okay, that makes sense. It isn’t apples and oranges, it is apples and apples. The problem is that one is a Granny Smith and one is a Braeburn. But it still speaks to the point.

    As for SC 36, we’re talking about the same paragraph…the reality is this Sam. It is clearly a contradiction….Make sure that Latin is retained, but if you want to use the vernacular, that’s ok…also at this point, we’re not talking about the revised liturgy. That wouldn’t come for another 6 years. It wasn’t even conceived by the bishops who approved of it. So, you can’t apply things like the bidding prayers…and which prayers exactly are “some?” As for the readings, that is a non-starter, because by and large, that was already done, but it was done outside the scope of the liturgical action. That is why the priest removed his maniple.

    So, if you want to talk about apples and oranges, let’s talk about yours. You’re comparing a mentality with a Mass that didn’t exist yet.

    The argument is this…the wording was intentionally vague, so that the reformers of the Holy Mass could position themselves to do what they wanted and couldn’t be tied down through language or law. What is witnessed in Sacrosanctum Concilium is the virtual abadonment of the liturgical law as lawful. The liturgical law literally becomes a set of norms, which may or may not be adhered to, depending on the circumstance.

    However, as is the case with most persons, when they are given an inch they take a mile. Now…that being said, when was the last time most Catholics assisted at a Novus Ordo Latin Mass on a regular basis, short of a very few places on Earth? And where exactly does any document from Vatican Council II on the Liturgy suggest that?

  9. Tom T says:

    If you happen to be fortunate enough to live near a Maronite Church by all means go to Mass there. Their history dates back to the time of Christ in Antioch. They were founded by St. Maroun the Hermit, a friend of St. John Chrysostom, and have had perpetual resistance and preservation in that they not only survived, but have survived unchanged. Mass is said in a Church close to where I live on Sunday in Aramaic, the language of Christ and Holy Communion is dipped in the Precious Blood and given on the tongue, never in the hand. And yes, they are in communion with the Pope. Pax.

  10. RichR says:

    If you want a Latin Mass, tell your priest you will PAY for it. Money talks, and it gives PP’s ammo if they get a call from the chancery.

  11. BobP says:

    Ok, give them the vernacular. But on a practical level, which vernacular? Hispanics get angry if they make it English, the English get angry if they make it Polish, etc.

    Be careful for what you ask.

  12. Perhaps at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, in a side chapel, after the heat in the church has been turned off, and while the janitor is cleaning the rest of the church with a loud buffer. (a bit too snarky?)

    Snarky? Not at all. Simply briliant!

  13. mendezjb says:

    @ Sam

    Actually the fact that you disagreed on his take of SC shows he is right. He thinks SC has ambiguities and points them out. You disagree. That’s is a microcosm of the ongoing debate FIFTY YEARS LATER that is still going on. Traditionalists, modernists and everyone in between are still arguing the same point on vagueness and ambiguity in council documents.

    Who is still debating whether Trent condemned Protestantism? Who debates whether or not Arians were condemned by Nicea and succeeding councils? No one. Meanwhile, conservatives AND liberals cite, quite, and find themselves equally supported and vindicated by Vatican 2 documents in general. So to say the council taught poorly is merely an observation.

  14. I second the motion that bishops should be more concerned with common liturgical abuses, plainly spelled out in Redemptionis Sacramentum, and still not followed all these years.

    I still go into parishes for things like funerals and special Masses only to find clay pottery and glass being used. Stoles are worn over chasubles all the time, when they are wearing chasubles. I’ve seen this abuse more on the weekday Masses, along with skipping certain parts of the Mass that should not be skipped.

    The one that really gets me is the “offertory collection” of canned goods for the poor. Before I really understood what the Offertory was (thanks to the 1962 Missal), it didn’t phase me. I don’t see these things in my parish, but when I rarely go to neighborhood parishes on a Sunday, due to weather or other things the prohibit the longer drive to Assumption Grotto, it happens.

    While I think the Archdiocese of Detroit did a good job of getting the new Missal “out there”, I think any diocese which did not use this as an opportunity to invite it’s priests to begin re-reading Redemptionis Sacramentum over the next few months, lost a good opportunity.

    I hope bishops will consider doing just that, even now. It’s really sad that we the faithful must continue to endure with abuses in parishes that should have been eliminated years ago.

  15. jameshughes1947@hotmail.com says:

    Why should it cost you more to have mass in latin? The real remedy is to choke them at the source simply don’t give them any money and then watch them squirm when the cash dries up. In the great archdiocese of Glasgow we apparently get one EF mass on a Sunday in some parish in the suburbs because the abp apparently doesn’t approve ,notwithstanding that the pope says that it is the right of the faithful to have mass in the EF. This is the same prelate who while closing down numerous ‘non-viable’ parishes blew almost five million pounds doing up the cathedral complete with ‘water feature ‘ in the middle and with the tabernacle stuck in a side altar. I am well aware that GIrm allows for such a situation although the logic of it is baffling given that the place is in fact the house of god and he should be right at the heart of the place and not tucked away in some obscure corner . Also this question of collegiality astounds me. Jesus said ‘thou art Peter etc etc . He didn’t mention any plurality of Peters. The pope is head of the catholic and given the absolutely appalling standard of leadership of huge swathes of prelates I will be following the directions of his holiness . Most of these guys could do with another round of Henry VIII or Oliver Cromwell to grt them into line.

  16. Martha in SD says:

    I agree with the snarky comment, brilliant!
    Too often I find people refer to the EF as the “Latin Mass”. I make it a point to correct them and tell them that the NO Mass they go to is also the “Latin Mass” even if said in the vernacular. That they need to distinguish between the NO and EF when talking about the Mass. Most of the time I get a blank stare, starting with the NO comment, since they don’t even know that they go to a Novus Ordo Mass (ignorance). Then they ask me what EF is, and I saw it’s what they call the Latin Mass. Then the light starts to come on, but they still don’t really get it. Too many years blindly following. Sad!!!
    Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI, the pope of Christian unity.

  17. Centristian says:

    @Phil_NL:

    “I must say I find it remarkabe that the situation in the US seems to be characterised by loads of ultra-liberal bishops, yet with enough vocations to be able to send priests to very undesirable assignments.”

    “Now, either it works completely differently on your side of the pond, or some people are just seeing only half-empty glasses everywhere.”

    Phil:

    While some may imagine that our American bishops are all quite to the left of Liberal, the true liberals in this country would laugh at the very idea. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    From the point of view of a typical modern day American Catholic who tends to be at least shaky on morals and doctrine, who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about birth control, and who think Adam & Steve across the street are pefectly harmless and oughta just be left alone to call each other “husband” if they want, our bishops are downright medieval. Many American Catholics would howl at the suggestion that our bishops are “ultra-liberal”.

    But for liturgically-concerned Catholics (and let’s face it, such Catholics are and always have represented an almost indiscernible minority) who find themselves disappointed that their bishops do not do more to foster proper liturgy and in fact do little or nothing to correct the poor liturgical trends of the last 4 decades, our bishops are often looked upon as rather disappointing. To hard-core traditionalists who want to see the pre-Conciliar rites everywhere restored outright, our bishops may as well be Marxists.

    I think, really, that our bishops could best be described, for the most part, as socially traditional and doctrinally sound, but liturgically oblivious. I don’t think most of them are “liberal”, per se. I just get the impression that men who know liturgy and focus on it don’t become bishops. “Type A” personalities or men with exceptional management and administrative skills tend to become bishops, and the focus of such men is either on the broad picture or on the minutiae of administration, not on liturgical finesse.

    Take Archbishop Timothy Dolan for example: not a liberal. Definitely Type A. Definitely a “big picture” kind of guy. Watch him pontificate at Mass: what a mess. Lots of chatting with clergy and back slapping, everything’s loud and rushed, looks at his watch alot, there’s no finesse at all. There could be 36 extraordinary ministers, all wearing flip-flops and he wouldn’t notice. But he’s not a liberal.

    Now, imagine such a Type A personality when faced with a priest who wants to know if he can celebrate Mass in Latin. “Latin? Mass in Latin? Why would you want to do that? I don’t get it.”

    “Well, sir, because, if you read Sacrosanctum Concilium, chapter…”

    “Huh? Sacro-what? Look, I’ve got alot of stuff to worry about without you trying to start something here. Are you trying to start something? ‘Cause the last thing I need right now is a priest who’s trying to start something. Are you one of those Lefebvre nuts or something? Why don’t you forget about all that and come back here when you can roll up your sleeves, help me spread the Word and present a solution or two to one of the 1001 problems in my in-box today.” Well, the priest has got a solution, of course, but many bishops, because of the types of men they tend to be, just don’t see it.

    I don’t think the preponderance of American bishops are liberal, per se, just that they aren’t as focused as they need to be on the liturgy at a time when the liturgy is in crisis, and therefore ill-equipped to understand why the Church is in such dire straits at the moment. They think of every solution EXCEPT a restoration of our liturgical traditions, because they just don’t see it, and as a result they, individually and as a body, keep striking out.

    They’ll try this and they’ll mobilize that and promote organizations and committees and drives and movements and bumper stickers and Youth Days and…none of it ever works. The actual solution, however, is, literally, right under their nose every morning and they just can’t seem to see it. So they keep spending loads of time and energy on getting things wrong, and don’t want the few guys who are pointing out the genuine solution getting in their way…as they see things…trying to “take us back in time” to square one. They want “do-ers” not complainers.

    So they aren’t liberals, our American bishops; not preponderantly, I don’t think. They just can’t see the forest for the trees.

  18. JonPatrick says:

    Centristian you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for your post, it describes the situation very well I think. Maybe there is just too much thinking of the church as a social service agency instead of the way to bring people to God and save their souls. And what better way to bring people to God than through a reverent and meaningful liturgy.

  19. MattnSue says:

    OK, my impression from reading many of the responses is that a common (and legitimate) concern is Bishops who impose their will over their flock. But this has always been the case, both before and after VII. Granted, the council did, for better or for worse allow for greater autonomy in some respects (especially institutionally, but also individually) for bishops and their conferences. However, a bishop in, say 1908 in a diocese, still acted as the authority, and still told the priests how to act, and could still lay down “unofficial” policies. It seems that the problem is that the particular bishops spoken of in comments above are doing what has always been the case, but in a manner that the commenters (and I, fwiw), disagree with. This problem has been, and will continue to be, fixing itself. Episcopal appointments are and will continue to be made from Rome, and The Holy Father has shown plenty of signs, through these appointments, which direction he intends to go with this. The many who ran out to change things quickly after the council won a damaging, yet temporary battle in a war that is now changing course. As with other abuses, the Holy Spirit has responded through the church, but the timing isn’t always as quick as we would like. Thanks be to God that John Paul II was given the gift of longevity to begin to make appointments that eventually allowed for the election of our current Holy Father, who has begun through his appointments the true heavy lifting. I have been saying for years that for all the flaws of his papacy, and all the positives as well (from the renewed focus on life to the “rock star” status that appealed to so many masses (the people kind of masses, not the Masses which appealed to so few people), the greatest gift that John Paul II gave us will have been Benedict XVI. Without JP II there would be no B XVI

  20. Tom T says:

    Centristian, Excellent observations and well put. I agree. Thank you for a different perspective
    indeed. I do understand the thoughts of some though as there are some bishops who get involved in controversial issues that evoke a great deal of emotion and sometimes seem to be on the side of pro-choice politicians and in fact through various organizations, such as JPIC, possibly without realizing, they encourage the support of same. Issues such as global warming, the UN, and immigration seem to come to mind. Blanket labels of any group is never christian nor accurate. Pax.

  21. Sam Schmitt says:

    @Andy Milam

    The point of SC 22 is stated in para. 1: “Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See” in contrast to the “other person[s]” (i.e. individual priests or bishops) mentioned in para. 3. So obviously the Apostolic See has the authority to change the liturgy – as it has done many times throughout the centuries – but “other person[s]” do not. What exactly is the ambiguity here?

    As to SC32, you seem to think that when the vernacular is permitted, it is an all or nothing proposition, which would contradict the mandate that Latin be retained in the Latin rites. However, the text does not bear this out. It speaks of “the limits of its [the vernacular’s] employment may be extended.” There would be a contradiction if the Council mandated that the entire liturgy must always and everywhere be in the vernacular and at the same time said that Latin should be maintained. But it did not say this. True, it did not give a detailed legal statement about what and what may not be in the vernacular, but as I mentioned, a general council simply cannot have the level of detail that you demand of it, at least when it comes to the liturgy. Also, I’m not sure what you mean when you say that I am speaking of a mass that didn’t exist yet. The directives apply to the mass as it existed at the time (Mass of John XXIII) as well as the mass as it would exist when the reforms mandated by the Council were done (which is why I mentioned the general intercessions, which are explicitly mentioned in SC53).

    Saying that Trent is clear because no one doubts that it condemned Protestantism is like saying SC is clear because no one doubts that it mandated a reform of the liturgy. I am not claiming that every passage in Vatican II is crystal clear – but you’re choosing the wrong passages :).

    @mendezjb
    Actually, if you study Church history, you’ll see that the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) had to be called in part because of disputes after the previous Council of Ephesus, held only 20 years before! A period of doctrinal and disciplinary uncertainty after follows after an ecumenical council. Many of the successes of Trent were not obvious 40 years after it closed, Gallicanism remained a problem, Protestantism continued to exist (and still does!), etc. Obviously a longer view is needed to see the real story. Maybe the same is true today. And we all know that liberals find support for their positions in Vatican II, as they do in Scripture. The solution? Correctly interpret both. Benedict XVI has been trying to do that for a while now, and I think we’re better off trying to support him in this effort rather than giving up before we begin.

  22. Tom T says:

    MattnSue, Im afraid I have to disagree with your premise. In my view the opposite of what you described is the problem and that is a complete, in many not all, breakdown of authority from Rome and the Vatican with bishops abdicating their authority leaving many questions and decisions up to the local pastor to “do it his way.” I could site many examples which I have already done here in many comments posted previously however, I will start with the most glaring of all and that would be bishops who absolutely refuse to follow Moto Propo, Summorum Pontificum even after Universae Ecclesia. Another glaring example is the recent flap over Holy Communion distributed under both forms. As I have mentioned here before, the experiment to distribute at will
    in the U.S. ended in 2005. Despite a request from the USCCB to extend the right of extraordinary ministers to purify the Sacred Vessels, being denied in 2006 directly from an audience with the Pope, they ignored it and left the question of when, or how many extraordinary ministers, and purification up to the bishops who then in turn left it up to the local pastors.It was supposed to be reduced to three times a year to reduce the number of ministers walking around the alter. Obviously that never happened and by the way the use of extraordinary ministers was never intended to be in wide spread use in the first place. Another misinterpretation of Post Conciliar Documents. All these examples and many more I could site are, in my view, a breakdown of obedience and a “will do it my way’
    attitude of many bishops. I could site you abominations and abuse of authority such as has happened in places like the Rochester Diocese in N.Y. where the faithful are counting down the number of days till Bishop Clark retires or the Diocese of Erie Pa. and many others. You are correct about the Holy Father slowly replacing these bishops and I am happy to say it has been done in my Archdiocese of Phila. with the arrival of Archbishop Chaput. At least with Pope Benedict XVI we are headed in the right dirction. Pax.

  23. Lepidus says:

    @Centristian – Coming from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, I agree with your assessment of Dolan. (He was parked here for a few years with the idea he doesn’t make any serious waves so he could say he was an archbishop rather than just an auxiliary when he got the NY job he was in line for). With him, though, it went a bit beyond turning a blind eye to the abuses. Whenever there was a picture of him in the paper greeting people after Mass, he was always putting his sacred vestments (zucchetto, usually) on some kid.

    The more general issue, at least in the US, is that the bishops in general are putting their noses into things they really don’t belong in, while ignoring those things, such as the liturgy, that they are 100% responsible for. For example, it’s one thing to preach, write letters, etc. about social items that have a Catholic teaching – abortion, abuse, etc. It’s quite another to be using their time about issues that good Catholics can have differing opinions on – amnesty, welfare, world banks, etc.

    With respect to the “snarky” comment. I agree 100%. However, there are too many people out there that are only interested in “numbers” of Catholics. The general attitude seems to be “We have to allow [guitars, extraordinary ministers, kids sitting in the sanctuary, holding hands, clapping, Liturgy of the Word for children in the other room, non-Latin….] otherwise, somebody is liable not to feel welcome and LEAVE CHURCH.” {Cue Haugen: all are welcome in this place…}.

  24. redhood says:

    I am a the Religious Superior of a religious order. I recently had to make a decision to an oral request made by one member of my order to celebrated Mass in the EF to satisfy the request of lay faithful. Naturally, in making such a decision there were all sorts of things I had to consider. So, I started out with the easiest. I asked the priest if he knew any amount of Latin (due to the international character of our order, it is not always possible to know the type or quality of education of each member!@#), and if he had any training in saying the EF of the Mass.
    His response was no in both cases. So I made an easy decision, not allowing him to say Mass in the EF. However, I told him that if he so desired: 1) to state the need to the bishop (who makes himself easily accessible to all priests in his diocese), 2) study Latin, 3) ask the bishop to form a group of priests trained to celebrate the Mass in the EF.
    Well, that’s where it still remains today.
    ANYWAY … my point ….
    There may be a good reason why a bishop would say NO to celebrating the Mass in the EF. I would advise the canon lawyer you contacted to read the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” before making such !@# comments and I wish to point his attention especially to Article 5 § 4 “Sacerdotes Missali B. Ioannis XXIII utentes, idonei esse debent ac iure non impediti.”

  25. redhood says:

    You may wonder why I wouldn’t say the Mass in the EF: 1) Although I know Latin, I am not trained to say the Mass in the EF and 2) I’m too busy celebrating Mass in three languages on any given Sunday to meet the valid desire of the vast majority of the lay faithful … I don’t need a fourth language!

  26. Phil_NL says:

    @centristian:

    For the record, my comments were meant to be laden with irony. Of course the US bishops aren’t all or even mostly ultra-liberals (except in the minds of those on the extreme other fringe); my point was to show the inherent pessimism (if not outright contradiction) among those who make a habit of complaining about their bishops and casting them in the light of sending off poor devout priests to chaplaincies in lunatic asylums and prisons as a matter of course.

    If the bishops were indeed that bad, as they have been in some dioceses in the past, there would hardly be a priest left to sent away to undersirable assignments. The fact that there are multiple priests on many locations is a sure proff that some thing go right some of the time at the very least. That doesn’t mean that the bishops are al perfect either, the forest-for-the-trees observation is spot on. But from time to time the half-empty glass should just be regarded as half-full. Especially with Rome nudging things slowly in the right direction.

  27. Tom T says:

    Phil_NL, With all due restpect Phil, I`ve got a half glass for you to look at. Just go to Renew America and read the article dated 23 May 2011, titled “Liberal Woman Rule Rochester Diocese.”
    Priests are disappearing from the Diocese. Priests assigned to the female “Lay Administrators” of parishs serve as little more than Sacramental ministers or assisting priests. The female “lay Administers” wear stoles, give the homilies, do baptisms, and sit next to the priest on the alter. One priest mentioned has a business on the side to keep him going. I suppose it is always better to look at the glass as half full, ie; we can live with this, and ignore the empty part. Maybe it will go away. And to redhood, if Mass was still said in Latin, you would`nt have to say it in three other languages. Pax.

  28. Tom T says:

    Sorry John, I`ll do that. There is a liberation theology at play here with a subtle merging of the Americas orchestrated by certain factions of Church leadership. Particularly of interest is the controversial letter sent to G20 from the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace which I believe prompted the Vatican Secretary to issue a directive that he personally was to see all documents claimed to be coming from the Holy See. If you follow Catholic Theological Union and other such liberal institutions which I am sure you are aware of, you know what I mean. I have had some very interesting discussions with priests from that University eho were theologians as well as the pro- Democratic open borders group attached to Religious orders called JPIC. Tea is brewing. Gotta go. Pax.

  29. Tom T says:

    Moderator Please remove the last post. I posted in error. Thank you.